“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” - George Bernard Shaw

July 30, 2008 Candace Morris 6 Comments

you know how i recently mentioned that i was no longer in my barren desert of my early life, but instead i am abounding in the forrest of my adulthood? I mentioned that my present from Kelly, Plume's Desert Secrets ring, will eternally remind me that for everything i was NOT given as a child, I have been blessed ten-fold by something else...and this is what i mean.
My connection to Joel has been more than amazing - just him alone. But here this awe-inspiring man comes along with equally inspiring family. Most people cannot say this of their in-laws, but I adore these people...not just because they are family or because they have been kind of nice to me, but because they have completely changed my life...
There are parents you love because they are your parents. This is not why I adore the Morris's. I adore them because they first and foremost see their children as PEOPLE, not as converts or as a reflection of them. I am Candace to them, all parts, all combinations of moods, all my stages - and they embrace and adore it because it's ME...not because they are hoping I might finally turn out as they had planned. When we get together with them, we hang out as friends, they are genuinely interested in even the smallest happenings of our day, our friend's days, and our friends friend's day - seeing all of my life as important and worthy of hearing.
And they do all of this without any judgement or parenting - which is hard to do I imagine, watching your children get past the range of you being able to correct them, but they have done this with ease and graciousness.
I am convinced I can do no wrong in their eyes - and I am just an IN-LAW (though no one really even thinks of these terms) and this is remarkable b/c I can be one bratty girl.
In addition to the parents, my marriage has brought me two lovely sisters and their adorable and integrous husbands. I LOVE hanging out with these people - it was such a relief to see them after a long time not being all together because I realize that I am not in a social situation when it's just us...I am instead with family. I can be in ANY mood or state of introversion and despite perhaps baffling them sometimes, they always love and accept me. It's a relief to not ever really have to explain myself...
I was overwhelmed to share my bday with them on Monday night - here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.
CRM=Aged 30 yrs : JLW=Aged 27 yrs

Yesterday evening, Erin and Adam's present came in the mail! Adam is Joel's cousin on the Morris side, and E is his better half. I am such great friends with both of these people, like really deeply bosom friends - and I am so glad I get to be their family b/c we get to be stuck together FOREVER. I love these earrings from Plume!


the things the universe reveals to me when i am in water

July 29, 2008 Candace Morris 15 Comments

during yester-eve's late night steamy soak with new bubbles (thanks jenn!), i had an interesting encounter with a baby spider.

as a child, i hated and killed any creepy crawly in my path. growing up in the high desert of southern california, there were many roaches in my childhood. i remember turning the light on in the bathroom at night and hearing two or three scatter to the baseboards.

i was not fascinated by bugs. i was not one of those girls in dirt and overalls and contentment. instead i insisted on a daily wearing of my favorite pair of bumble-bee tights (see below) and pranced around in all my girlishness. (i did, however, freakisly love and persue rolly-pollys).

as i grew into the lady you see now, i found - as many of you know- that my child inside was not fully-developed. as i worked on allowing my innocence, naivety, dependence on others, and embracing of the not-so-serious-all-the-time, i found myself growing more and more fond of nature and living things. this was the most happy accident i have yet encountered in my brief 30 years.

for instance, in the last five years, my eyes have been glued to the sky in pursuit of my feathered friends - learning all about their habits, sounds, distinctions, and environments. In the natural wake of this hobby, I have also come to notice trees and all things green.

So when I was camping, Kelly shooed out a little shrew from the bathroom, and I was so relieved b/c I thought for a second that the little guy wouldn't make it. He was soo scared. Also when I was camping, I killed a mosquito, and I felt so strangely bad about the vehemence with which I slammed his body up against the bathroom wall. I realize that this insect sucks human blood, but still - I am all of a sudden MUCH TOO SENSITIVE to the living. I mean, who am I to end something else's life, especially if it presents no direct threat to me?

So last night, as my bathtub fills with hot water (did you know I must be IN the bath as it's filling? I have found this to be helpful in the acclamation (joel says scalding) of my skin to the heated water) I notice this sad little spider climbing for dear life out of the tub, but he keeps slipping in the water.

Before I know what I am doing, I put my finger out for the spider to perch on and assist it up the wall. As I was thinking later of that spider, which was still quite visibly freaked out, I wondered if there is anything in insect psychology about post traumatic stress disorder because if you were a creature 6mm in size and this huge fleshy branch thing was flying at you, lifted you out of the slippery abyss of porcelain and set you gently on the top of the abyss again, you would probably be BEYOND therapy.

Will this spider recover? Will it always fear the color of my flesh? Will it be strange and withdrawn from his spidey friends? Will they all talk about him and tisk in shame at the sad digression of his life, "Isn't it so sad what happened to Gaspard?....such a waste, he used to have so much potential...oh, his poor parents."

What's it like to be a spider?

These are the thoughts
the water graciously brings me.
The thoughts of a child.

19. A great new book from Dad that he recommended and I am eager to read. Forgot the name, though.

20. An amazing bday meal from mom, wherein we had a cheese plate by the orchard, then moved to the deck where we gazed at the fountain and nasturshim blooming, and then ate a fabulous meal followed by an ice-cream cake to die for...thanks momma!

21. A fabulous gift card to the NEW H&M that just opened in Seattle from my Julie and Tim (along with promises of cocktails if I go shopping WITH them...well, if you HAVE to pull my chain, i guess....). I am excited to have an excuse to get down to the new store.

22. Brian and Jennifer gave me an original designed shirt by Brian that made me weep. I mean it. I was sobbing. That freaking guy took a photograph of John Steinbeck and drew it out to be silk screened - and then put a dialogue cloud above him to say "timshol." This gift penetrated my soul in the most ferocious and acute way - and I felt so known and understood (two emotions I have long since lost my acquaintance with) by the gesture that I could not believe it. I love it dearly and will be photographing it shortly here for you. He is selling them here in his etsy shop.

My PB & J calls me (what are you eating for lunch?)


"There is no coming to consciousness without pain" - Jung

July 28, 2008 Candace Morris 2 Comments

i am one worn OUT owl.

i am dreaming this sleepy morning of escaping work without telling anyone, stealing joel in a similar fashion from his job and heading to the hoh rain forrest...where we would take naps in his parent's RV (which we would also steal) with the sound of the summer rain beating down on the tin roof.
i was staring at the moonlight pouring in my bathroom
as i bathed in scalding water and darkness.
i wanted to crouch in the shadow just below the moonbeam
because here, i could still hide in the shadows.
no one watching

i wish i could throw down my feet and slam on the breaks of my schedule.
because i DO PROTEST.
so what happens when the soul demands something i cannot give?
my soul is yet another thing wanting a piece of me.
wanna see the bite marks?

Here are some pictures of this weekend's party - wherein we bid adieu to Mr. and Mrs. Lewis (but of whom there is little pictures! ah)

Also, Julie and Tim's wedding photos came in. Take a looksy if you have a couple of hours to kill! :)

Take it easy on yourself today, will ya? For me?

post. script. : happy 7th anniversary to the Mr. & Mrs. Umberdove. I am so privileged to see their day-to-day kindnesses, incredible work ethic, intentional dating, peaceful and hospitable home, gentle affections, and am ever-learning by their determination to understand each other, support each other, save each other, and challenge each other. I hope today finds you both a bit of the escape that romance can bring from the daily pressures of being you...that the only thoughts on your mind can be each other, your passion, and your ease. Escape well, my little birdlings. Your package awaits.


silver terrior

July 25, 2008 Candace Morris 1 Comments

present #3 from Teresa - the Friends with Finnigan Necklace from my dear PLUME!
the 3 presents were to represent the 10 decades we have spent together. the more i talk to my sister, the more i realize that i am not that odd of a woman - or at least we both are, which is comforting in its own right.

last night, jess took ben, joel, and myself to do a wine tasting class. It was located in the Whole Foods on 65th, but run by a company called Salud! The tasting was so informative, not at all pretentious, and very surprising.

We tried 6 wines: 2 german Rieslings, 2 french Chablis, and 2 italian Barolos. The class was on terrior, or what the french call "sacre nature" (sacred nature). A terrior is a group of vineyards (or even vines) from the same region, belonging to a specific appellation, and sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, grapes and wine making savoir-faire, which contribute to give its specific personality to the wine. We tasted the two wines from the same vintage, producer, varietal - but the only difference was the village - sometimes just 2 or 3 yards away from each other. It was amazing how different the wines were! It was a very great experience, and Joel and I decided that we wanted to go wine-tasting in Sonoma, CA for our next anniversary in November.

Happy Friday to you - hope your weekend is alive and rejuvenating.
It's looking pretty good for me,


giftlings galore 2.0

July 24, 2008 Candace Morris 3 Comments

i am officially ashamed of how spoiled i am.
but not ashamed enough to not list them shamelessly for the world wide web to see.

(but just so you know, my birthdays are usually not such an affair to remember!
lest you begin to love me less due to my ever-increasing popularity :) )

12. Niki got me the cutest two pair of earrings from her favorite boutique - and they dangled gracefully in my happy ears yesterday...oh how i swoon over anything turquoise. Great job picking those out, my little timid one.

13. A beautiful cake from Jess and an outing tonight with our men to a wine tasting event.
14. OH MY GOD A FIRST EDITION EAST OF EDEN WHICH ARRIVED YESTERDAY IN THE MAIL ALONG WITH MY TEARS OF INCREDULITY. This was sent from my sister Teresa who must have simply dug into her soul and found what she wanted and then knew I would as well.

15. Something sneaky came for Joel from amazon, and since I was instructed NOT to open any mail addressed to JOEL, I sat patiently staring at the package while I waited for him to return from the chiropractor. We then left immediately for our date w/ Jason and Devon and I looked back longingly at this package, wondering what it was. When we got home, as joel and i wiggled into our evening with cuddles and laughter, he told me that this little package I was eyeing was only a little part of the big gift still coming. When I whined about waiting the two weeks that it would take to come in the mail, I found myself vacillating between wanting to wait (i am a pleasure delayer with gifts) and wanting to know! So I very obstreperously demanded to know my gift from joel.

OH MY GOD I AM GETTING AN IPHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love techy toys and am very excited about this new little gadget - though I will for sure be the trendiest wendy on the block (this does not excite me). To this thought, joel responded "Well, it's trendy for a reason." So I am just super duper excited about this. It really does solve a lot of practical problems we have been having with our current phones...(aka, we don't get a signal in our apartment) and also my broken ipod.

I have often wished that I could give people my shopping list or to do list and as a bday present, they go around checking those things off. Basically, I want a butler/pool boy/personal shopper/maid.

But it's so great to have a gift that has checked off a great many things on my household to do list. It solves our cell phone dilemma, my ipod dilemma, my wireless dilemma, and since it can also clean houses, shop for me, cure aids, and end world hunger, turns out i never have to get off my ass again. What a guy, no?

16. We went to drinks with Devon and Jason and had a lovely time chatting and eating some yummy foods at The Saint. She then bestowed such fabulousness on me! We got a bottle of wine from their recent wine tasting jaunt down to Sonoma..woo hoo!! And then....HAH, this is the reward for most clever gift...she gave me this four-pack of soda can looking things but instead it has sparkling white wine in them. It's like a celebration to-go pack! And since they look like any random energy drink, you could totally get wicked shit-faced at work!! (not that I plan on doing this, believe me, I lack the serious cajones needed to break such rules). But man, aren't they so cute?!

and THEN, as if those two things weren't totally awesome enough, D painted a poem for me that I swear to god she could sell on etsy. It is the perfect finish to my collection of watercolors on bookpaper and this one is more special than the two I bought because I know and love this girl. I should have taken a picture of it for you.


(except for crocheted potholders...i may fake it when i open it, but god, i hate them. funny about that...i gave crocheted potholders to people for christmas four years ago when i just learned to crochet and thought i was the shit. oh, and we were dirt poor. the year before, i think i gave the extended family some tangerines. well, anyway, thank you, everyone who got one, for being so gracious and pretending to enjoy such LAME ASS GIFTS).

17. Money from my momma came today and I will probably deposit it today and then grab some hair product I have been eyeing.

though i am grateful beyond measure
the attention can be a bit overwhelming
for this introverted gal...
its hard to be on stage
and have no beat to dance to
with nothing/no one to tell me how to act.
but i am very, very, very
happy to know that i am
on this journey to discovering
and isn't that was celebrating age is all about?
the tangible knowledge that you need not fear
that others will casually take no notice
when you inevitably fall?
instead, i have been conviced this week
that they will
decorate you in their jewels
sing your praises with cakes and laud
paint up your face
and tell you again
just once more
that the years have been kind
and to get up and walk again because
and their confidence in you
is enough
to make up for the confidence
you have lost in yourself.


girls gotta golf

July 23, 2008 Candace Morris 2 Comments

Ladies Night #4


giftlings galore

July 22, 2008 Candace Morris 8 Comments

wow, today and this week and this month and well... for my life.
i am ONE SPOILED bday girl.

it seems that people came of the woodwork yesterday to pump up this tired girl.
for this courage to take flight, i am deeply indebted.

Look at my fun bday suprises!

1. Bday Dress found at the BCBG outlet store - and I just adore how I makes me swagger and saunter in the most smart way.
2. A euphoric lunch from Kelly and the present she has kept secret for SOOO LONG:
AHHH! Plume's Desert Secrets RING
I LOVE this ring with all my might.

do pardon the picture, it's HARD to photograph jewelery well. and this was with my camera phone!

this is what it looks like close up, but umber decided on a citrine for me instead of the cabochon
very apropos, don't you think?

do you know what it's like to WEAR such art?
it means so much to me - thanks my umberdovely for the soulful gift, knowing how i pined for it
thank you my plume, for making such things to adorn to the beauty of women -
and no doubt, for the well-wishes sent my way while crafting this jem of all jems

It reminds me of my roots in the desert of CA
somewhere where the joshua trees hoard all the water...
but where i was still determined to
dig deeply for roots
alive indeed with the most haunting, raucous,
hot hot wind
and one lost little family

finding sustenance where there was no
sustenance to be found.

and as i gaze on it, i remember that i am no longer
in that barren place - but am in the
forest of my life
new growth, loves. new growth surrounds.

and the eternal reminder that for everything i was not given
i was blessed ten-fold by something else.

3. Kind words (words of encouragement IS my #1 love language, but i cannot handle loud or public compliments - i need to save face and feel safe in the praise) from Niki (she listed 30 things she loves about me) and Becca (i am happy to be this kind of example if it means women come along the journey of self-care).

4. Text messages, voicemails, emails, comments on the blog and facebook, and ecards all over from family and friends alike - and happy to hear from my dearest two sisters, Teresa and Monica, good to hear leif's voice, courtney's voice, karen and steve's voice, jackie's voice, brian and jen's voice...just feeling very happy.

5. In the mail - my plume sent me some earrings and the happiest of letters!!! i have been lusting over these pretties! They are the perfect avant garde pieces to my collection - which is getting better and better the more JSL jewelery I add to it. It's a very PLUME bday - yay!

ladies and gents, i give you the Hoard It Like a Dragon earrings (and I plan to) in fact, i just might sleep in them

6. Also in the mail was a lovely HAT from my dear sister! It's just damn fabulous. She is giving me two other things - and the mail is just taking it's damn sweet time! boo.

7. Jess picked me up from work so I wouldn't have to ride the bus and then gave me a beautiful begonia plant!! (Also, she has some sneaky plan for taking me out on Thurs night - some sort of event requiring tickets! OOOH YAY!)

see hat, earrings, and begonias above

10. For one of my presents, Joel is agreeing to take a dance lesson!!! OH, what bliss is mine?! He has more presents coming for me, and I will certainly keep you posted on this.

11. A happy card and the promise of a tatoo together from my jackie.

At the end of the day, I felt especially loved (and especially full of indian food)...from everyone who took the time to remember that they cared for me.

and this is all I could ask for.

I am fat-belleyed and drunk on beautiful kindnesses.
As a side note, it's Kelly and Brad's anniversary next monday night, and they have entered a contest on plume's blog to win Kelly some jewels! Please go and vote here!!! (sorry M!) Kellly is twisting my arm. (You may also see my new dress and hat in the video if you eye closely).


weird advertisement #2

July 21, 2008 Candace Morris 1 Comments

how classy.


if we took a holiday...took some time to celebrate...

July 20, 2008 Candace Morris 10 Comments

until this weekend, i didn't think the phrase,
"i've had the best weekend of my life" could ever belong to this

but it turns out, without even trying...
with (almost) zero planning and little agenda,
the family bookling (comprised only of monsieur and madame bookling as yet)

had one of
"the best weekends of their lives."

and need i mention how desperately i needed this?

you see, this entire week past, i have been feeling the pressing in of time. it's no secret that i turn 30 years old in (T minus) 1hr and i felt upset most of the week.

and then i felt shame for feeling upset.

and then i felt shame at the shame.

you get the picture, no?

but i just DID NOT want to be one of those women who cry and feel their age and moan about the most natural thing in the world. i WANTED so keenly to feel that 3o meant i only became increasingly fabulous, lovely, centered, healthy, kind, tolerant, and intelligent.

but instead, i felt the anxiety of the F.L.E.A.T.I.N.G years to come and the gasp of "oh my god, what have i been DOING all these years? I'VE WASTED MY LIFE." also known as the bittersweet bookends of what has passed versus what is to come.

i wanted to feel alive.
not pressed... squeezed...deflated.

so i went on this weekend trip with joel with little to no expectation other than for quiet and some loss of my ever-present self-consciousness.

aka. leave the ALWAYS REFLECTING inner-mirror behind.

and here it is, late sunday night - and i could just weep with inner fulfillment at this weekend. i could dance on my rooftop naked and scream that i am alive and gorgeous.

and ready indeed to take flight.
to feel some wind under my feathers.
to sing in the most irresponsible outfit of sequence and glitter
skinny dip in the sea of moonlight

and should that be how one feels when approaching 30?
i think so.

for those of you, like me...who want the nitty gritty details, read on.

the weekend started with me getting off work on Friday at 2pm, which is just divine...and i walked to and from work (2 miles, cheers to me) and got all of our stuff together. we got on the road and had a lovely listen to NPR and chatted and laughed.

We met Joel's cousin and his wife, Hanson & Caroline, in Bellingham for dinner and I enjoyed some much needed Aventinus and fish & chips. We then sauntered out to the boardwalk, and the sea stole my anxiety. The wind ruffled my dress and with each sway of the dock, I took big bites out of the cleansing salty air.

Joel and I left H&C and set up camp in the dark - jumping in our cozy sleeping bags and drifting off to sleep.

The next day, we went to the bay and scouted crabs and looked at clams, seagulls, egrets, and little fishys of the most curious nature. Afterwards, we walked back and made some delicious lunch, played cards in the sun, took naps, read books, took another nap, took a drive, found some ice cream, sat on the beach and read more, made a delicious steak dinner, read, had a campfire, and went back to bed - content and free.

Today, we woke up after a deliciously long night of sleep and took a long walk to the store because I had a hankering for chocolate donuts and coffee. We then tore down camp happily and drove down to some outlet stores on our way back to Seattle. We stopped at a casino for a beer and (more) fish and then joel spoiled me rotten at the outlets. I got a beautiful new dress for my bday and i finally purchased a skirt that is above the knee.

1 - i have worked my ass off loosing weight this year and
2 -it's about that time to show a little leg. i am 30 years old, after all.

If you should happen to see me strutting on the street, refrain from your hoots. It's terribly indecorous - instead envy me from afar.

as a side note: if you have never shopped with Joel - you need to sign up here.

We got home and unpacked and did a spot of laundry - and I was just easy, not irritable, and lovely. I love the effect this man has on me. We had some lovely conversations and I believe it's a husbands duty to help his wife remember that

she does not bloody up everything she touches.
and that the care she gives to others,
the work of her hearth and home,
the tears that fall when she thinks he can't hear,
and the dreams she whispers in her sleep
are noticed, lovely, and enough.

Joel was feeling fine tonight in a new pair of jeans and shaved face, so we walked down to the movies to see Mama Mia. OH MY GOODNESS. (I know I married the right man when joel leaned over and asked, "is this a musical?" and when i nodded, he said, "YES!" excitedly).

Another side note:
show me a man who can
chop wood, get a theological degree, build houses, tile showers,
cook, shop, teach, dress well, fix cars, play chess,
clear hay fields,
make beer,
speaks french,
loves musicals, theatre,
computers, children, people, laughter
and classical and operatic music
...and I will swoon all the way down the asile to him.


On our way back from the movie, as Joel and I were practicing dance moves, I felt so euphoric.

And i want to pursue these interests more.

Tell me, loveies...how can i read/write, dance, sing, cook, drink, and still make oodles of money to afford my wardrobe?

Well, off i must go. AH! I just looked at my chipped finger nails. This will never do for a 30th bday. It's too late to remedy this - ah, damn.


here's to the you that dances around your house
in something rediculous
with your round brush microphone,
"you are the dancing queen...."

the you when no one is looking
is my favorite
you indeed,

~ euphorically yours,

the same, only one year more fabulous.

The Mr. and Mrs. take a holiday


saving the world one word at a time

July 18, 2008 Candace Morris 0 Comments

(click on me to play)

my dear mother in law introduced me to a word game online that is basically a vocabulary test and for each word you get right, 20 grains of rice are donated to help fight world hunger.

isn't this an amazing cause?

because, you know me i will do everything to stop world hunger.
(but only if it means i get to

whoa. sorry about that.

i am feeling a bit irreverent today. it's the antsyness of me going away with my hubby for the weekend to Birch Bay Campground. We are happy to stop by Bellingham on the way and have dinner/drinks with our cousins, Hanson & Caroline...they are such fun people to be with. I then plan to spend the time reading, journaling, walking, looking at the water, and eating fish & chips - oh, and talking to joel- of course, of course.

(IF you are good, I just MIGHT take a few pictures and share them. But I wouldn't hold your breath because I simply cannot be bothered with a camera).

If you are bored without my blog to read this weekend, my favorite jewelery maker is celebrating her 1-year anniversary as an entrepreneur, and is hosting some fun things on her blog in celebration! Visit her. And then buy something. (Preferably for MOI!)

Okay, well off to grab some lunch and then sit back down to save world hunger.

Because I am just a humanitarian at heart.


Life Span Integration - Part Deux

July 16, 2008 Candace Morris 11 Comments

I had posted a while back about preparing for a counseling session wherein I would participate in Lifespan Integration. I thought I would revisit and reshare this experience, since I didn't even really talk about it to anyone.

This was the idea behind it:

I think the whole premise is to help integrate a life – to help me see my child and adult as all part of one person – to see the good and bad and to get a holistic sense of my life. Perhaps to discontinue the thought process I have of the “unhealthy” candace and the “healthy” candace existing as separate entities, but instead as one whole being.

This was the preparation:

I was given the assignment of writing out a list of the years I have lived.
1- 30 and then going through my childhood memories and assigning them to an age.

You know, like parents divorce=age 1, swallowing a staple in school=age 8, solo visit with grandma=age 9, first kiss=age 12, wanted to be a missionary=age 16, boy crazy=age 18-22, etc

This stage is a lot of work, and I put it off for quite some time before the session. I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to remember most of my life, but as I sat to do it, more and more kept coming and even after I left the assignment, more flooding memories took over.

(Turns out I didn’t have a horrible childhood – I guess I forgot)

This is how it went down:
So I took this piece of paper with only a fraction of most my life (you never know what to put down or not put down – I mean the session is only 1.5 hrs), and sat down with my counselor of over two years, and proceeded to have the most uncomfortable, stretching, agonizing 1.5 hour of my adult life.

She asked me if I had any presenting issues that day, and I mentioned a recurring problem with my body image.

She then asked me to think back to a time in my life/childhood where I felt the same issue presenting, and to describe how I felt in that situation.

She then asked me to find a safe place in my childhood where I could see my inner child and go to her as the adult I am today. Then she wondered: “Does your child have anything to say? Does your adult want to say anything to this child?” Always my answer was no.

She then asked me to ask my child if I could take her on a journey through her life. The child nodded reluctantly.

She then asked me to visualize taking my child through my life – and she read back to me the sheet of memories I had prepared beforehand. She would occasionally stop and ask if I had brought my child with me, and most of the time I was still processing the events as an adult – and I think this is because even at the ages of the memories, I was analyzing and processing as an adult – never, almost never with childhood innocence.

(I conjecture that this happens when a child is forced to grow up too fast - I don't know, just a hunch)

The most disorienting thing of this exercise is that I didn’t know this little girl at all. I would try and help her feel welcome with my adult, but she just kept cowering from the adult. I can’t blame her, it’s not like most of the memories were terribly pleasant and I can’t imagine her wanting to grow up and go through all the pain of arriving at my current age – even though this era has proved to be remarkable.

But it took a damn long and painful road to arrive here. Why would this child want to see all the pain she would need to go through?

My therapist repeated this process (find your child in a safe place, ask her to go on a journey with you, show her your life, do you have anything to say to her?) five times (FIVE FREAKING TIMES, I SAY) and I was just itching to get out of the exercise and analyze it.

I like to analyze the aftermath of fire, but I can’t say I enjoy the squirm of the b.u.r.n.

Then again, who does?

This is what I was left with:

To my counselor’s credit, I must admit that I hate being led. I am fiercely independent and often spend most of my sessions just talking and talking – and she occasionally directs or asks a pointed question – but basically, it’s my dump session.

Because, you see, as a strong introvert, I do almost all of my venting, processing, analyzing INTERNALLY and I error on the repressing side of communication, so often times my sessions are just a huge purge, and I feel so much lighter afterwards. (I think this also helps me to not put too much pressure on relationships because I have really learned to comfort myself and not expect others to help – if they arent available or in a good space to do so).

But back to my point, I have never had such a scripted session, and I can say that I rather hated it. I want to go where my subconscious and boundaries and comfort level most naturally take me, not where someone else thinks I should go. I don’t need a therapist to enlighten me to myself, I am already overly-aware and analytical, what I need instead is just someone to listen and direct me and validate.

So this scripting of my childhood, this trying to envision my adult and child interacting was just a huge mind trip…I felt confused and anxious and really unsafe. (
lest you criticize my therapist for doing this to me, recognize that she was assessing and being very sensitive for the duration of the session).

I felt jolts of hot tears well up, but I pushed them back down because I
didn’t want her to think this had been successful – that all of a sudden a huge damn was breaking loose because of this silly exercise.

And the truth is, I don’t think it’s silly. I can see it really working for some people. My therapist asked me later if I had felt any lightness due to the session, and I felt the smallest amount of relief when my inner judge finally released a bit of shame.

(Turns out we are all sexual. Maybe you
didn’t know. And apparently, humans sexuality and development is normal and expected. Who knew? (This is yet another thing I blame on the ill-taught doctrines in Christianity). )

ice cream cake
aching neck
red nail polish
the last 30 pages in Eye of the World
camping with Joel
jeremy’s painting
mailing packages
thin nerves
blonde hair
maxi dresses
dirty house
dying plants



nothing, nada, zilch.

July 16, 2008 Candace Morris 0 Comments

i have nothing left to give today
for the anxiety eats me to my end

that is...except more pictures, always i have more pictures
- but this time from my friends.
lest you think i am a glutton.

i love this one.
(this was my attempt at building a fire.
it didn't go too well.
do you feel like you went camping with us? next time you should).

Joel and I had a lovely and much needed evening together. We took our whole foods picnic to Gas Works Park, where we saw a marching band, french tourists taking pictures of the skyline, and kites galore. We then headed to Fred Meyer for more camping gear - as we are off on our solo camping trip this weekend ( i sure camp a lot for a girl who doesn't camp. :)).

On our way home, we had the windows down and enjoyed easy laughter.

so while Joel clinks about in the other room with the camping gear, i hear little else save my now, my bath and book.

sleep well.


my name is candace and i am an addict.

July 15, 2008 Candace Morris 4 Comments

at least i can admit it.

i must



copious amounts.

the camping was lovely. turns out i am not too bad at it, but i did stay clean (except my feet, how mortifying to win the "whose feet are dirtiest" game) so that helped me stay comfortable.

one fatal flaw of the weekend? i should have brought my ipod. i forget how my music quiets me - turns off my thoughts. when i get outside, i get even more introspective, and this introspection leads to millions of thoughts and these millions of thoughts contribute to my one great destroyer:


(fie! fie!)

so i think i would have brought my ipod and watched the trees and welled up with tears at the pricking of soul only music can bring.

highlights of camping:
  1. beastism
  2. jessica/candace's 4 hour stint alone at camp
  3. lilac wine & hallelujah-jeff buckley
  4. deer siting and walk
  5. talking with tice and niki about "the road"
  6. benji's reading us a Roald Dahl story around the camp fire
  7. burgers in a train car
  8. the "phrase" of the week - i think i won that game!
  9. hobo twinkies
  10. pearl jam
  11. jason's impersonation of harley fantasturbating.
  12. almost dying on devon's bike while afterwards talking about care of the soul
  13. the chat with joel on the drive home

so, all in all - many memories were made. it was very interesting to compare last year's first trip to this one - and how much intimacy has happened in the last year. in this, i find fulfillment and deep satisfaction.

in other matters - last night's Bastille Day celebration was simply magnificent. Despite the crowds, the weather was PERFECT and i enjoyed my rosé, sausage sandwhich, petite frites, and the breezy feel of my dress. we meandered about lazily, donning our summery attire, and found the pink door - whereby we sipped more cocktails and ate italian victuals by the sunset.

it was the most european monday night i have ever had...(except while in europe, bien sur)

do enjoy all the pictures, and feel free to comment.

(unless you are an anonymous man-bitch- he he, thanks plume)

(i will be sure to have more as my friends send me theirs, but for now you have to be happy with 275 pics)

Bastille Day 2008

Camping Trip 07.08


commenting on the mean.

July 14, 2008 Candace Morris 9 Comments

a funny, funny thing happened this weekend via the blog. upon returning from a very social and highly energetic weekend for me (of which i may/may not have over 400 pictures - soon to come; i am sorry, but i am an addict), i plop down at the old machine to catch up on 53 emails - some of which included blog comments.

And all of a sudden some rather
and anonymous (how cowardly)
typer of words decided to leave censure beyond my deserving.

i deleted it because it's just poor form.
and it's just so silly because i always welcome disagreement, rhetoric, banter - aka, nothing short of a good bloody boxing match of the minds, but honestly...

nothing excuses such contemptible and unbecoming behavior.

it said something to the effect of me trying to be too weird and/or esoteric and that i was very self-involved and such. but obviously i am entertaining enough for this person to read...and oh golly how i WISH TO THE GODS that i could be NOT weird and NOT esoteric (for your edification, b/c it's on the GRE test, missy! Esoteric knowledge is that which is available only to a narrow circle of "enlightened", "initiated", or specially educated people.)

I was thinking all weekend that I was just such a strange gal - very weird and odd and oh so freaking different - and these thoughts I do not wear glamorously - but instead with the frustration of an unmanageable dunce cap.

Ironically enough, I would much rather feel a bit more normal these days. But instead I constantly feel like this introverted, asexual, irritable, condescending freak of a woman. So for this mean person to use his words so ill (and words are so close- they can sting like nothing else. I would prefer a slap, scratch, bite, or yank of hair any damn day) towards me was a bit shocking. All of this to say that I need not fabricate WEIRDNESS. Rest assured, it's really quite organic for me.

BUT ALAS, the frustration shows me another way to measure some self-growth (how self-involved of me - oh wait - IT'S A BLOG ABOUT ME). Before - the unhealthy (ier) candace would have allowed these words to sting for days, weeks, even months before she could grab her words by the reins and get back on that writing wagon - and NOW, as in yesterday's example, they only stay with me for a couple of hours.

Those hours passed, and with the most cleansing shower of my year (4 days w/o will make a girls toes very black indeed), I felt the ugly sting of the words surface up from my soul and leek out through my skin.


and despite the sharpness of this person's words, which will always remain - i will indeed glory in this thicker skin.

(on a more practical note, i have disallowed anonymous comments).
I have many stories to tell, words to write, and pictures to share from my weekend...so do stay tuned.
I will not be able to get to it this evening because I am celebrating Bastille Day today with a romping parade, vino, brie & baguettes, and definitely,
most assuredly,
which will of course be shouting...
"Liberté, égalité, fraternité"
(and also, bien sur - there will be photos)


au revoir

July 09, 2008 Candace Morris 0 Comments

well friends, i am off to enjoy nature as she intended. (in a car).

i am sure i will annoy all my friends with the camera in their face all the time, so i will have plenty to share.

i have also leaped in faith and decided to pack my watercolors.

hope the rest of the week is easy on your soul - b/c today, i do feel a little beat up.

i am sure mother nature will restore.


quiet - trees at work.

July 08, 2008 Candace Morris 7 Comments

i have posted a new bookling's blog, and you really ought to read it.

i have been reminded lately of some thoughts on writing - thanks plume! she reminded me of a fun fact about Sylvia Plath and her daily writing goals (oh this sends me on a rabbit trail of thoughts - just wondering what it must have been like to live in a house with another writer who is my spouse/mentor/teacher and be constantly pressured and inundated with your craft - this seems like it would not foster an atmosphere of artistic creativity) were to hand write, front to back 4 pages a day.

i do write daily, but certainly not that much - and i have lately been frustrated with HAND writing anything. i think in keyboard now...and on saturday with joel napping along side me, i sat in my bed and wrote in my journal for the first time since January (oh poor journal, i have been so painfully remiss in my devotion to you). the entries have been 6-8 months apart, whereas just 4 years ago, i journaled at least three times a week.

but i digress.

i sat on my bed journaling - and i just really struggled to find my normal voice. i am now unfairly comparing it to blogging, and perhaps this should not be. i think the compulsion to blog is enhanced by the "publish" button and an audience. but this seems odd to me because i often write in my journals with that same voice and same sense of audience.

but you know what it is, really? i think i am just terribly, horribly , tragically




this laziness will be quite stripped of me due to the woods being an ill place for a computer. i am therefore reduced (though not so!) to actual pen to paper....because, after all - this will be my inspiration:

above photo totally pilfered from the dearest of old dear friends - Karen & Steve's website...pictures of their Maui trips.

i know you are rapt with curiosity
i can never tell you the secret words of my journal pages
- they are so naughty and cross you will be shocked
and never believe it to be from such a sweet
1 more sleep until i camp with 12 other crazies...ahem, friends.


ode to the outdoors

July 07, 2008 Candace Morris 7 Comments

well hello again, dear monday afternoon readers.

i find your eyes kind and gentle this easy monday. seattle is gorgeous today, and i must confess a lightness of spirit because of the following:

  • it's camping, camping, camping on the brain. i have completed my grocery shopping list (minus a few meat items - i could NOT buy farmed salmon at the cheap grocery store i had to go to in order to stretch my new cash budget to fit my camping menu!) and am excited to have received a new air mattress for an early bday present (thanks mum and dad!). we are off to enjoy the woods on wednesday night - and meet our soul's longing for the most moving inspiration available - nature. i am excited to take my sketch book and enjoy some time alone (which will happen probably b/c everyone else will get antsy and go off exploring, and i get a bit scared being in the woods alone, (silly, i know - but i grew up in the desert!) so i will sit in the sun in my campsite soaking it up!)

dear light beams through treetops green - spray me with your light-heartedness.
enchant the open pages before me, dance on my loungy body.
tempt me not, preoccupation, with your unkept hair and dirty fingernails, and ever-increasing tasks.
infuse my lungs with the deepest of ease and serenity.
for this benevolence i will always return

and return
and return to dust again and again.

  • i spent the weekend in equal parts laze and productivity - and this, my dears, is an ever-anxiety producing mixture for my spouse and i. we spent saturday lazing about watching Pride and Prejudice, and boy did that make me crazy for words and books! later that evening, joel read some of my book to me, and i got so addicted that i stayed up even later than god and continued reading! oh swoon, i sure love being lost in the pages of my friends. on Sunday, we went to mum and dad's and i was quite the productive little woman! i made granola, mended some clothing, collected camping gear, and went grocery shopping at a place where one might fear for their life. (j/k, i am a grocery store snob now that i live in the city).
  • no other reason just the knowledge that summer is indeed upon us, and my scarfless neck and air-tickled toes bring a bounce in my step that even the most casual bird would notice. how ostentatious of me!

as a side note: if i could change one thing today - it would be my fear of the woods (i have just never felt comfortable. i hear my mother cautioning me against rapists!!! i am also afeard of getting lost.
the other is my self-consciousness. i can often be oh so self-conscious - not defined traditionally in that i am unconfident, but instead just overly self-aware. sometimes (and especially while camping when stripped of my comforts and wardrobe) the self-consciousness eats away at my serenity and make me just terribly anxious.
oh if only this were not so!!

also, i would not mind being in better shape. alas, i will perhaps just wander the woods at my own pace (sticking to the trails of course), with my camera (which always decreases both my self-consciousness AND my fear) and just be.

perhaps if i bring a shotgun. or a machete. you know, to protect me from the rapists.



the morning after

July 05, 2008 Candace Morris 1 Comments

joel and i meander about this morning (eeks, it's 12:30 and we've only been up for 1.5 hrs) with achy necks, foggy heads, and lazy prospects for our saturday. this is not due to copious amount of alcohol consumed last night, but instead by some yoga in the park and a rather smoky "patio log." we had a happy 4th indeed, albeit mellow and enchanting.

here are the pictures to boast of our humble and relaxing party:
fourth of july 08

speaking of enchanting, i can't get this out of my head: i saw it this morning while perusing etsy and i am just resting in its meaning, finding inspiration in the romantic flow of her skirts

in the listing, the photographer included the most beautiful quote, and then - dears - i felt it MUST be meant for me because this lovely quote was from my dearest and most cherished Russian (of this century-or rather, last century), Vladmir Nabakov.
The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous
feeling of the words being there,written in invisible ink,
and clamoring to become visible.

~Nabokov ~
and at these words, i ache and pine to write write write.

speking of writing! (oh golly! i almost forgot to tell you!) yesterday, while joelio and i were at Half Price Books selling our VHS collection (we made $6.96 off of 50 tapes, ah!), i found the most moving and soul-gripping litle book.

it's a independently published book entitled Fight, Flight, Surrender by brett dean mcgibbon.I was intrigued by the cover, "a journal-novel from new york to alaska and back again" and opened it and almost fainted from heart- piercing wordlings that already resided in my soul.

only they didn't know it.
i read a rather long passage, and will include it here.

(after many minutes spent exclusively with this book, joelio insisted i buy this instead of the BLAKE poems (norton anthology, swoooon) that i had in my arms. so i did.)

i will be including this in many more posts to come.

there comes a time in life when you realize
either because the walls were too close and obvious or you've
had a taste of freedom - that you're in a cage -
no less sad and pitiful than the wolves
grizzlies in cages - artificial walls, boundaries, limits,
directions to take yourself - put there by some person else
and your wings are clipped
and the short seventy years you're allowed is too long to go
without ever flying-
and some men take off to sea - maybe on a fishing boat-
and everything that's good about you magically
finds a spot among the waves and mountains and the wind...... ...

spend your time like a bird with no

knowledge of flight but feeling something
else, more - must be out there - to being

thrown into the middle of the real game
the game of nothing - just being - not
searching or longing - but being - Flying-

Fly little bird - Fly great Eagle and Gull-

do what you have to do and someday
be devoured - i will join you.

i am undone by these thoughts.
i am moved to write yet again.

and today i have little else to do but to finish the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice, grocery shop for the camping trip, and read this new book.

I can do these things with these thoughts under my wings, forcing my heart to give them flight.